Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Soap: Cured

This is the state of the tub. Not only am I trying out all the melt and pour I just made, I also have cured cold process that needs testing.



The goat's milk and peppermint soap recipe that Delighted Hands shared with me was a big success not only with me but with The Mister. We've gone through two bars already.



The tussah silk and kaolin clay recipe that I made up on my own is nice. Very nice. I've been using it for a week and so far all my skin is still on.


The calendula and chamomile soap was also finally safe to use.


This one smells so good that I cut one in half so my four bars will last longer. I used some cannabis fragrance oil with a little red currant and cinnamon. It's yummy.



 In a couple of days the Clean Linen bars will be ready to use. I'm not wild about this fragrance but it was a free sample and free is free.


 The Juicy Pear will be cured at the end of the week. This one has no fragrance left but sometimes as soon as the bars get wet the fragrance returns. I hope so because the fragrance oil smells great in the bottle.



 As much as I love the feel of the cold process bars on my body, I still prefer my unscented melt and pour with clays and charcoal for my face. In this humidity my poor face doesn't need any extra moisturizing. Maybe in the winter.


I went ahead and shrink wrapped it all up to protect it from the dust and critter cooties. You leave the ends open so the soap can continue to cure which really means to shed its excess water. This type of soap has about a year shelf life if you keep it cool and dry. Now my curing shelves are practically empty which makes me sad. I'd do something about it but it's just too darn hot. Putting on smocks, gloves and goggles is not my idea of a good time in August. I'm taking a nap instead.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

August

Statistically, August is supposed to be cooler than July but it never feels that way to me.



 Even though I've been stuck in the house during one heat wave after another, I didn't get much done this month. I think I said the same thing last month.


On your mark, get set......let's go August. No TdF. No baby sampler. No soap to make. No excuses.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Apologies Are In Order


Dear Rest of the World,

As a US citizen, I want to say I am sorry for what happened to poor Cecil the Lion. When I heard what had happened my initial reaction was "oh, please don't let some American idiot be responsible for this" but as we all know now, it was. It's one thing for us to kill each other. We have sadly grown used to being massacred for various and sundry reasons in malls, churches, movie theaters and even first grade classrooms-but this really is the limit. Now it seems we have been exporting these morons to wreak havoc on an ever dwindling wildlife population who, unlike us humans, have no idea they are coming.


I didn't know Cecil and he was probably a jerk of a lion, as so many are, but from what I've heard his position was very important in the pride and his loss could result in even more lion deaths because the hierarchy of power has been upset. Cubs could die.


It is nice to see so many are standing up for animals rights in the wake of this senseless and horrifically cruel act of violence. Let's hope justice will be served. Personally, I would like to see the guy have to eat 420 pounds of lion meat-raw, if it didn't mean the loss of another lion. Maybe it would be better just to make him wear a tracking device, so the world will always know where he is, for life.
In case you haven't heard, Cecil's pride was being monitored by satellite for the past 20 years by this organization. They have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public donations in Cecil's honor and have a very moving tribute on their website.

Once again I'd like to apologize for my fellow American. The only feeble excuse I have to offer is that we are clearly in the midst of a mental health crisis in this country. Anyone who takes such pleasure in killing things clearly has a screw loose. Let's just hope he has the good sense to trade that crossbow for a camera asap.

Sincerely,
Araignee







Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Sticky Situation


I've spent many hours this week wrapping up soap only to discover that none of my adhesives were doing their job.



I had used an adhesive roller thingy and I don't know if it was the heat and humidity or the brand that was the problem. I usually use the kind you get at Paper Source but this time I picked up one at Joanne's.



Whatever the problem, I spent the day gluing labels and bows back on.



It was a lot of labels and a lot of bows.



This time I used a new adhesive roller thingy and a glob of scrap book glue. I even picked up some Glue Dots for just in case but so far, so good.



I have to say, picking the colors and patterns that go best with the soap is too much fun. I could do it all day.



I went a wee bit overboard in the soap making department so I still have a lot of leftovers to wrap. They are getting their labels tied on and as for those bows-fuggedaboutit.



For my own use, I borrowed a recipe from one of my favorite soapers, La Fille de la Mer. It's full of sea salt, sea clay and coconut milk and smells like the beach. It's the next best thing to a dip in the sea.  I could eat it it's so yummy.







Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Bloom

 It's been so hot that I have been hiding in the house. This weekend we had some decent weather with temps only in the 80's so I ventured out for a few seconds before the mosquitoes chased me back in.



 In those few seconds I noticed a few things were blooming.



I also noticed that things need trimming. The hostas look terrible when they are finished blooming.



We've got about a week or so until the hostas are either burned up by the sun or eaten by the deer. Now I need to figure out how to get those hostas trimmed without either being eaten alive or becoming tangled in spider webs. It's a freaking jungle out there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Morning After



The day after the Tour ends is always a jolt to the system. There's been so much preparation, so much spinning and then......nothing. After everything is cleaned up and packed away, the house seems too empty. I can't stand to see the wheels without anything on them so new projects need to be planned.



I want stash diving but couldn't bring myself to use a braid I already had. I've got quite a collection of beautifully dyed fiber but I love them-as braids. Weird, yes? Instead I looked for something to dye. This bare Polwarth was just what I was looking for.



 It got a soak in water with a splash of vinegar.



Then I dumped it into some jelly jars of dye and gave it a spin in the microwave.



 It's clown barf but I really like clown barf.


Now that it is drying, it looks more like unicorn barf.



Yep. Unicorn barf.

Monday, July 27, 2015

TdF: On the Podium


I'm always looking forward to the end of the Tour but so sad when it's over.



As the riders made it to the Champs-Elysee, I took stock of all that I managed to get done in those three short weeks. Three balls of yarn were start-to-finish projects and three were already-in-progress when the Tour started.



I managed to wind off the drop spindles one last time before Chris Froome climbed onto the podium for the second time.



I only managed to add two spindle fulls of the purple, one of the rainbow and one of the white to the single collections. That's pretty pitiful but these were three weeks full of drama on the home front. I'm lucky I got anything done.




During the intensive 23 day spinathon, I usually have at least one aha moment. This year I figured out I can save a lot of time and frustration if I tie off the ends of the skein in a different color.




Trying to hunt for the matching ties in an unruly hank when you are ready to wind is a pain. No more.



The Texel X turned into a very nice yarn. I've only got about 6 ounces at the moment but I have 6 paper grocery bags full of the stuff just waiting to be carded. I'm pretty sure this wants to be a sweater someday so I better get cranking.